Patch blogger Ann O'Neill answers reader Ed's question: “Is it normal that kids under 7 can sing all the words to I’m Sexy and I Know It?"
The answer to your question is in two parts. First, it’s normal for children to imitate what they see and hear, especially if what they’re seeing and hearing garner attention. They are merely reproducing how they see grown ups behaving. This is what you’re observing when you watch kids playing imaginative games like “house,” “store,” or “army.” All kids do this. They will imitate both the positive and negative behaviors of adults.
I’m going to infer from your question for the second part of the answer. I think you’re asking if young kids can understand the sexual nature of the words they’re singing or if it’s appropriate for kids under 7 to be singing a sexual song.
Even if kids under 7 know the mechanics of reproduction, they don’t have the capacity to fully understand something as abstract as sexuality or being sexy. Their lack of understanding is one reason that it’s inappropriate for kids to be singing songs about being sexy. Another reason is that, though young kids will imitate behaviors they see, young kids should never perceive themselves or be perceived by others as “sexy.” Never.
If this perception creeps in, even casually, it’s time to parent.
Find out where he or she heard this song. If it’s from another kid’s older brother or sister, talk with the parents and ask that they not play explicit songs around your kid. Talk to your kid about all the things he or she is: funny, smart, a smashing-good Lego architect.
Tell him or her that these are way more important than being sexy and introduce some great music to your kid. Sing and dance often with your kids.
Thanks for writing, Ed.
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